Plastic is clogging our oceans and killing our environment. We used so much of it in our day to day lives, we neglect to recycle, and we waste. Trying to be more conscious of this waste in little ways could really do a lot to help our planet. Believe it or not, one of the worst occasions for this is our weekly trips to the grocery store. That's right. You can be creating a lot of pollution every time you stop at Publix or Target to refill the fridge. Here are some ways you can improve a little on the waste you're creating.
1. Bring your reusable grocery bags.
I put this at number one because it is a huge issue, and even I am guilty of it. Plastic grocery bags in my house build up until they can sometimes become unmanageable. Recycle them and get yourself a hefty, reusable bag to bring back and forth with you to the store. Keep some in your car for last minute runs or in case you forget.
2. Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging.
There is a lot of plastic used for the packaging of our food that gets discarded or not recycled. Buying in bulk is one way to prevent from building up on plastic waste from your regular grocery store trips. The less often you have to buy the same things, the less this will happen.
3. Buy a reusable water bottle.
There are a lot of reasons someone may be carrying around a bottle of water with them in their day to day life. Maybe they like to throw one in their lunch for work. Maybe you like to bring a bottle of water to the gym. Maybe you're just thirsty all of the time so you keep one in your purse constantly (like me). Go buy yourself a big reusable water bottle. I have a 32 oz Nalgene that I bring with me pretty much everywhere. It's a good way to make sure I am drinking enough water, AND it drastically reduces the number of plastic bottles I would be hoarding if I were buying cases of water at the grocery store.
4. Use plastic containers instead of buying Ziplock and plastic wrap.
This is another one of these that I am actually very guilty of. I use a lot of little ziplock baggies to put my nuts and crackers in my lunches for work. I also store a lot of food in ziplock bags, like fruit or leftover slices of pizza. Like the individual water bottles, these start to build over time. Buying reusable plastic containers gets rid of a lot of that waste. Yes, it can be a pain in the butt to deal with plastic containers. You may have to buy a bigger lunch box to accommodate, and it creates more dishes for you to wash. However, it is better to have to wash a plastic container every few nights than go through a box of 50 sandwich bags in a week.
5. Try to go with glass or metal when buying beverages.
This one might be a little bit harder, but it is worth mentioning. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean you shouldn't try to mindful of it. You can buy things like boxed milk, rather than getting plastic bottles of milk. If you are someone who drinks soda or juice, you can attempt to get metal or glass bottles rather than plastic. And, if you're wine drinkers like we are in my house, you can buy the glass bottles of wine. Is it sometimes cheaper and easier to get the boxed wine? Yes, it is. However, the insides of those between the bag and the nozzle are all plastic products. Buying a glass liter bottle of wine can prevent that issue right away.
Plastic waste is one of the biggest causes of pollution on our planet. It isn't biodegradable, and when it is, it takes years and years to break down. It's causing the death of marine life and deforestation, and it isn't good for Earth to continue abusing it at the rate we have been. It may be mildly inconvenient to have to keep these little things in mind, but it will be better for everyone in the long run.